Teenage boys can be cruel

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Sometimes we return to long ago conversations
where more than cross words were uttered
where protagonists squared up to one another
and arguments and insults were uttered.

And when with the benefit of hindsight,
that most magical and wondrous thing
we realise often how wrong we were
and the knowledge of embarrassments sting.

If we could just take back those words
that were aimed to wound so deep
knowing how they’d hit their mark
and said to make someone weep.

In those teenage years, how cruel we were
how very little of life we knew
how gentle and forgiving our heart’s desire
how slow the understanding – in young men grew.

I’m now a man – three score and five
a man who love has touched so deep
but I colour now as I think back
at my cruelty then and I want to weep.

For almost fifty years I’ve loved just one
kindness flows through her every pore
I’ve strived to make up for those teenage years
and she just smiles and then loves me more.

My luck has held, we’ve stayed the course
I pinch myself to check I can still feel
and she looks and smiles at me and I know
it’s not a dream and it’s still real.

©Joe Wilson – Teenage boys can be cruel 2014

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